The Challenger Space Center was the next stop in our Phoenix Culture Pass series. Located at 83rd Ave. and Deer Valley, the Space Center has educated students and museum goers about the wonders of space and science for fourteen years. This past beautiful cloudy Saturday we visited the Center and explored its wonders.
The first thing that struck us was the Center itself. The building oozes space progrm, mission control on one side, launch pad on the other.
The docent at the front desk told us of the day’s activities, one of which was a ‘light show’ in the lower level. With time to kill before the show, we set off to explore the Center. We emerged into the main silo and the lights, size, and futurist paintings were enough to make the trip worthwhile.
Time for class, we joined a few families in a B1 level classroom filled with experiments including a plasma ball, static globe, and Tesla coil. Brian Campbell, a volunteer from General Dynamics, deftly taught the physics of light, entertaining all ages with hands on experiments and the occasional science joke. An hour flew by at 186,000 miles per second. It was the fun of science class all over again.
The Challenger Space Center has guided tours, a gift shop, stargazing nights, and its most special event, a two-hour simulated space mission where teams get to participate as mission control, fight crew, or scientists.
The Center is open Monday through Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm, and the most expensive admission is $8. This was one of our favorites in the Culture Pass series, and for kids and the space/sci-fi/science inclined, we can’t recommend the Challenger Space Center enough.